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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Green pockets 40m Bhs dividend
Philip Green
Mr Green says Bhs is on course for a strong Christmas
Retail entrepreneur Philip Green is to pocket about 40m ($71.4m) after Bhs produced record operating profits.

Having failed in his 9.1bn bid for Marks & Spencer, Mr Green is celebrating after Bhs made record operating profits of 111.6m last year.

Mr Green and his family, who own 94% of the business, will share a 40.2m dividend out of the retailer's profits.

Mr Green, who bought Bhs in 2000, said he was not considering another bid for M&S at this stage.

"I have not even thought about it," Mr Green told Reuters.

"We are not looking at anything at this moment. We are just trading our businesses."

Tom Hunter, the Scottish retail entrepreneur who owns 5% of the company, will receive a 2.1m dividend.

Piling on the pressure

Mr Green was snubbed by the M&S board earlier this year, despite winning the support of 34% of shareholders for his takeover bid.

Under UK company regulations, Mr Green is unable to mount another bid for Marks & Spencer until the middle of January, six months after his latest offer was turned down.

The entrepreneur has since vowed to pile the pressure on M&S by going head-to-head with the struggling retailer across the country.

I just think our offer is better
Philip Green

Bhs, which has 164 stores, increased its operating profits by 5.8% to 111.6m in the year to 27 March.

At a pre-tax level, profits actually fell from 123.3m to 120.9m.

Sales rose by 0.9% to 890m over the period, although like-for-like sales -which exclude new stores- were flat.

Christmas confidence

Earlier this month, M&S said like-for-like non-food sales fell 7% over the past three months but Bhs said similar sales had risen 1.3% since 29 August.

"I just think our offer is better, our stores look better, with lots of nice new product," Mr Green told AFX News.

Mr Green, who also owns the Arcadia chain, said he believed Bhs was on track for a strong Christmas, the crucial trading period of the year.

Bhs is launching a new television advertising campaign later this month, its first for a decade, as part of a major marketing offensive.

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15 Jul 04  |  Business

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